IND vs ENG: Big Tons Missing For India, Opening Pair Continues To Disappoint
Notwithstanding India's remarkable series win over Australia on the recent tour Down Under, their entire batting unit has managed just one individual century over the last 11 Test innings since the tour of New Zealand in February 2019.
Left-handed batsman Washington Sundar came close to scoring a ton in the first innings of the first Test against England, which ended with a 227-run defeat for India on Tuesday, but ran out of partners and remained unbeaten on 85. Rishabh Pant and Shubman Gill to have scored in the nineties. But a big inning like what England captain Joe Root has been playing over the last three Tests has eluded India.
India's top five batsmen, who have the responsibility of scoring the bulk of runs, managed just one hundred and nine half-centuries across seven innings in Australia - discounting the second innings in the second Test in Melbourne where India had a target of just 70. The opening partnerships have been abysmal: 16, 27, 30, 8, 0, 7, 0, 16, 70, 71, 11, 18, 19 and 25 - just two 50-run partnerships in 14 innings.
"If you have someone like Rohit Sharma, who has not exactly been a Test opener, to face the new ball, then the batting structure gets affected. Opening in Test matches is a professional and specialized job. Rohit is a great batsman but he is not exactly a Test opener. He was not groomed as an opener," former India all-rounder Manoj Prabhakar, who has in the past opened for India, told IANS.
Rohit did well in 2019 when he was promoted up the batting order to open in Visakhapatnam against South Africa, getting scores of 176, 127, 14, 212, 6, and 21 - a total of 556 runs at an average of 92.66, all at home. But since then, he has got scores of 26, 52, 44, 7, 6, and 12 - a total of 147 runs at an average of 24.50.